News Department

Tooth Fairy payouts have increased

Delta Dental released new findings from its Original Tooth Fairy Poll® that show a 30-cent increase in the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift for a total of $4.03 per tooth.

“The Tooth Fairy is one of health care’s most powerful tools for teaching children about their oral health,” said Jennifer Elliott, Chief Marketing Officer, Delta Dental Plans Association. “By celebrating a lost tooth, children begin to learn the importance of their oral health in an engaging and fun way. At Delta Dental, we continue to provide tools for parents, families and communities to educate young Americans about the importance of their oral health and our 22nd year of this survey shows our dedication to keeping the Tooth Fairy a vibrant and active part of oral health education.”

Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends since 1998. The newly disclosed value of a lost tooth has more than tripled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30 as it reaches its fourth highest payout in the history of the survey.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically mirrored the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the trends of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) for 15 of the past 18 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $3.70 and this year’s survey shows upward growth to $4.03, an increase of nearly 9%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 22% increase, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey.

U.S. regional snapshot

  • $4.35 – The Northeast: Leads U.S. regions in highest average monetary gift for a lost tooth, outranking The West, which led the previous two years in a row.
  • $4.01 – The South: Tracks most closely to the overall U.S. average.
  • $3.97 – The West: Decreased 22 cents, moving from highest regional average last year to third regional average this year.
  • $3.71 – The Midwest: Increased 74 cents over last year but remains lower than the national average for the second year in a row.  

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 30, 2019, and January 11, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%. The S&P 500 stood at 2,596 on January 11, 2019 and increased to an average of 3,159 for January 2020. For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

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Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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